ISLAMABAD: The Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS), Islamabad, has recently launched a mega project titled ‘SALAM: Innovating Means to Resolve Radical Extremism in Pakistan’.
The aim of the project is to introduce measures for the large-scale de-radicalisation initiatives in Pakistan by suggesting viable policy options to all stakeholders. The project is particularly focused on devising non-military tools (soft power) to fight this menace. It will be carried out in three phases.
In the first phase of the project, a research study has been launched to trace the underlying causes of radicalisation and extremism in Pakistani society. Certain social domains have been identified as possessing the greatest potential for giving rise to extremist or radical tendencies, such as religion, ideology, economic deprivation, communal apartheid, psychological, sociological and international realpolitik. CPGS President Senator Sehar Kamran, while addressing journalists, said that these domains are under the introspection of various national and international scholars, who are conducting objective research on these topics for the Centre.
She said an international seminar will also be held on August 21 and 22, 2013, to bring together the entire social fabric of Pakistani society, including the policy makers, academics, and civil society members and begin the process of sensitising the community on the subject. The Centre will also work as a mediator, and conduct interactive scenario workshops and roundtables between national and international experts to formulate a cohesive national response. This response will be refined and enriched by international experience and expertise, to root out the menace of extremism and radicalisation from Pakistan.
At the tail-end of the project, the Centre aims to establish a model institute, hopefully in the vicinity of the Islamabad, where findings from the research and discourse phases of the project will be incorporated into a comprehensive programme, aimed at reintegrating the remote radical elements of the community back into mainstream society. This will be done via the provision of basic, balanced social, technical, religious education and a programme for socio-psychological reintegration.
Furthermore, a social media campaign will also be launched with the help of national and international media to enhance awareness and understanding about Pakistani society both in Pakistan and abroad, in particular about the menace of extremism, which is nibbling away at the basis of our cohesion and integrity as a society.
Finally, the Centre hopes to devise a holistic and comprehensive strategy paper with viable policy options and necessary legislative measures that may be incorporated into the national constitution, to effectively counter the problem at the national level. This all-encompassing report will be presented to all governmental institutions concerned for necessary action.
Sehar Kamran said the vision of CPGS is to contribute towards regional and international peace, harmony and security through sustainable intellectual discourse, on all matters having an impact on the lives of inhabitants of this region and the world at large. Its objective is to encourage discussion among national leaders, intellectuals and academicians to accelerate social, political and economic development, for the benefit of the people of Pakistan and the Gulf region.